February 18, 2019
SPAAR offices are closed today, Monday, February 18, for President's Day.
SPAAR is now accepting scholarship applications

The Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS┬« (SPAAR) Charitable Foundation will grant up to five $2,000 scholarships to children or grandchildren of current, active SPAAR members this year; at least one scholarship may be designated for the child or grandchild of a SPAAR Affiliate Member. 

Scholarship recipients will be selected based on academic achievement, school activities, community service and a written essay.

Learn about the rules and eligibility or fill out an scholarship application. Completed applications are due Friday, April 26, 2019. F or questions, contact Joe McKinley at SPAAR,(651) 772-6344.
Apply for a SPAAR Emerging Leader Scholarship Today!

Learn more about how your association advocates for REALTOR ® members as part of SPAAR's Emerging Leadership program by attending the National Association of REALTORS® Midyear Legislative meetings held in Washington DC from May 13-15, 2019.

SPAAR's Professionalism Committee is once again offering a $2,000 scholarship to attend the meetings.While SPAAR membership is the only prerequisite for applicants, we are seeking emerging leaders who are relatively new to their real estate career and have either not yet served or only recently begun serving on a SPAAR committee.

Completed applications are due by Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Learn more here.
SPAAR Hero is open for nominations
Each month, a member of SPAAR is recognized for their community involvement by being named SPAAR Hero. SPAAR Hero is coordinated by the Community Engagement Committee. Each month's SPAAR Hero is recognized in a press release, on social media and on SPAAR's website, and receives $250 for the nonprofit or cause they support. 
Know someone who should be recognized as a SPAAR Hero? To nominate a SPAAR Hero, please provide details of the nominee's community service and the name of the cause or organization they support to Joe McKinley at (651) 772-6344 or jmckinley@spaar.com.
New to SPAAR or have you been involved for years? Either way, consider serving on a SPAAR committee this year.
SPAAR provides numerous opportunities for members to become involved and one of those ways is to join one of SPAAR's many committees. There are eight SPAAR committees you can choose from, and each committee typically meets once a month. Want to check out a committee before making the year-long commitment? Email spaar@spaar.com to learn dates and times.
Weekly safety tips as provided by SPAAR and its members
SPAARky says:

Be safe online, too! 

Check out websites before entering credit card information. Be sure the site provides a secure Web page that begins with "https" and shows a padlock symbol within the browser window. These are signs that your information will be encrypted or scrambled, protecting it from hackers or identity thefts. 

SPAAR members have shared some great tips, too, including:

"Lock your car when showing houses. Avoid the surprise of someone being in your car when you get in, or someone stealing items while you're occupied elsewhere."
What is your #1 safety tip to share?

In keeping with the safety theme introduced in this newsletter, what is your #1 safety tip?

Share your safety tip and provide your name and email by sending an email to Jennifer at jkovacich@spaar.com.

A winner will be drawn for a $25 gift card for anyone who submits a tip during the month of February. We've had so many GREAT safety tips shared since SPAAR began its weekly focus on safety. Please share one of your tips if you haven't already (or send another)!

It's great to learn from each other. THANK YOU to all who have submitted one or more safety tips. Please keep them coming!
Toastmasters provides members a platform to practice speaking and meeting management on a regular basis
SPAAR Toastmasters meetings will take place the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 1-2pm at SPAAR's 325 Roselawn Avenue East (Maplewood) location. Interested to learn more or join? Contact Jennifer at jkovacich@spaar.com. The next meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 19.
Mark your calendar to cheers for a good cause
News from SPAAR's Community Engagement Committee:
SPAAR's Community Engagement Committee takes on projects throughout the year that are strategically chosen to increase awareness for REALTORS' involvement in the community. Here is a look into some of these projects:
In December, SPAAR's Community Engagement Committee announced two Community Partners grants. Recognized were District 196 (Apple Valley-Eagan-Rosemount Schools), which will use its grant toward food insecurity programs, and Blue Star Mothers of America, which will offset costs of shipping We Care packages to members of the military serving active duty. A care package recipient said, "My fellow soldiers and I greatly appreciate the time and thought going into the appreciation for what we do. This is my second tour and packages like this make it much easier to make it through the prolonged days." The Blue Star Mothers Collection Drive continues through March 29. Visit SPAAR.com for details.
In 2019, the Committee will recognize community organizations through two new programs: Food Shelf Grants and Communities in Bloom. Community-based organizations or programs will receive micro-grants to raise awareness for their programs and the impact they make. 
The Committee also learned about REACH Together, a refugee center on St. Paul's Eastside that provides a food shelf, emergency support and English as a second language instruction.  Many REACH Together clients are Karen-Americans. REACH Together received $250 for purchasing rice to be distributed by the food shelf. The committee also learned about the City of Maplewood's Edgerton Community Garden, an organic, accessible garden serving families in SPAAR's Maplewood neighborhood. How can you help? Help to identify food shelf programs or community gardens that SPAAR should recognize. Your ideas and suggestions are valued.
Please submit ideas and suggestions to spaar@spaar.com or call Joe at (651) 772-6344.
SPAAR in the news
See SPAAR in the news? We'd love to know about it. Please let us know if you see articles in your local paper about SPAAR members, events or other news. You can send an email to jkovacich@spaar.com or mail to Jennifer Kovacich at SPAAR (325 Roselawn Ave E, St. Paul, MN  55117) or simply let us know the station or publication. Thank you!
Housing Market Statistics

Get up-to-date housing market information here. SPAAR provides four different types of reports so you can offer your clients the most accurate housing data available. Click below to see how the market is doing:
Local Market Updates
Note: due to the President's Day holiday, check SPAAR's website for updated weekly statistics beginning on February 19.